Monday, August 30, 2010

Me & Mrs Jones

Well actually, I'm sure that's Mzz to you!

The immortal Grace Jones is a total inspiration and ever lasting fashion icon, always pushing the boundaries of what you thought possible, with costumes from an other planet and hats seemingly designed by alien imaginations. She has been painted by Warhol, literally painted by Keith Haring who body painted her as a Masai warrior, famously photographed as a horse by Jean-Paul Goude and worn clothes by every designer under the sun.

Her music has sparked a million rip offs and her style copycats in every generation since she first exploded onto the New York scene in 1977.

I've been a massive fan of her music for years and was lucky enough in 2009 to have the privilege of seeing her in concert at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney at the very start of her world tour. It was one of the best concerts I have ever been to and a feast for the ears and eyes. The costumes, production, stage and lighting design were incredible, I've never seen anything like it before or since... and as for Mz Jones, well words fail me, for someone past 60 she had the energy of someone in their 20s and the body of an amazonian model, totally insane!

The standout costume/set designs of the night was her mirror ball hat (yes really) and green lasers, which bounced off every panel lighting up the whole theatre like scene from Star Wars. I've never seen a hat used to such effect ever before. It was designed by the spectacular light artist Chris Levine, who recently has exhibited his work with Grace in London. Check out the exhibition site for more details of his incredible work, I wish I could have been in London to see it (sad face), but I don't think it's the last we'll see of this pair.

...and in the beginning...

There was a hat; unobtainable, desirable, unique, inspirational, historical and full of character. This hat told a thousand stories and had been a thousand places.
Unfortunately for me it was out of my price range, but it planted a seed of inspiration that developed into a fully fledged idea to create my own... my own bushman's hat adorned in my own stories... and after that a mild obsession about a fantasy life as a milliner. We'll see where that fantasy goes, but my own outback dream hat is definitely underway covered in random treasures from my travels, each with it's own tales.

So this is where it started, an old hat at a swap meet in Bendigo. Who knows where it will lead?